NADEAU HARKAVY LLC
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Nadeau Harkavy LLC in Cambridge, MA hopes to educate people about different personal injury topics. Feel free to browse our articles here and learn about an array of topics concerning your rights as victims of personal injury.
An ongoing series of informational entries
By: Leslie S. Harkavy
August 18, 2019
Another Bicycle Accident in Massachusetts This Summer Reminds Us To Reflect On Accident Prevention And Bike Safety For Drivers And Bicyclists Alike
A 12 year old boy was struck and seriously injured by a vehicle riding a bicycle this weekend in Haverhill, Massachusetts according to 7 News. The victim frequently rode his bike in the area. The accident is under investigation with an accident reconstruction team called in to assist. With increased bicycle use, there is a higher occurrence of accidents with vehicles. Bicycles in the roadways are now the norm. Bicycles are no longer just for recreational use but are also used as a primary mode of transportation. Bicyclists are subject to all traffic laws with a few exceptions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash related injury and deaths than occupants in motor vehicles. Children ages 5-14 and adolescents ages 15-19 have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle related injuries and account for more than 1/3 of all bicycle related injuries in Emergency Departments. Every day more than 100 people are killed or injured while riding bikes. Head injuries are the most common cause of death and serious injury among bicyclists.
The occurrence of bicycle accidents can be decreased. Take a look at some of the common risky behavior of both drivers and bicyclists that contribute to the occurrences of bike collisions.
Common Bicyclist Violations are:
-failure to yield when moving across the road or when turning left
-operating against traffic
-failure to yield at a yield or stop sign
-failure to obey traffic signals
- operating at night without headlights and rear light or reflectors
Common Driver Violations are:
-opening a car door into traffic
-right turn on red without stopping
-failure to yield to bicyclist when turning left
-improper right turn when passing bicyclist and immediately turning which does not give bicyclist opportunity to view turn signal
Drivers need to be aware of bicyclists on the road and be careful sharing the road with bikers. Drivers are often not using caution when sharing the road with cyclists and are commonly distracted by cell phones, navigation systems and eating and drinking while they drive. Drivers not paying attention are more likely to collide with a bicyclist. Bicyclists have little protection if struck by a vehicle. Bike riders are also more likely to be injured in an accident if they are distracted. Distractions include hands free cell phone devices and wearing headphones. Roads in disrepair and dangerous road conditions also contribute to bike accidents.
Lesson Learned: Drivers and bicyclists are sharing the roads more than ever before. Be aware of your surroundings, remain attentive on the road and implement safe operating habits. This will help to decrease the occurrences of bicycle accidents.
When a bicyclist is injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, a thorough investigation of the accident events is necessary to determine the cause of the collision and secure important information. As a victim of a bike accident, make sure everything is done to protect your interests.
The lawyers at Nadeau Harkavy LLC help bike victims and their families recover damages for their losses in serious injury and wrongful death cases arising from bicycle accidents. If you have any questions about your legal rights relating to a bicycle accident, wrongful death or other accident, feel free to contact us for a free consult today at 617-674-7640.
By: Karen P. Nadeau
August 9, 2019
Do You Have Enough Automobile and Homeowner’s Insurance
To Protect You and Your Family?
Attention Massachusetts residents!
It is so important to review your insurance coverage to protect you and your family members in the event of an accident.
When considering insurance coverage for your motor vehicles and/or home, one of the primary considerations is the cost and how to save money on insurance. When trying to get the cheapest insurance and best value, important coverage is sometimes deleted or lost. Many of our clients do not even know that they lack important coverage nor do they have enough insurance to cover their losses, until they are involved in an accident and we ask for their coverage selection pages. Take a look at your insurance coverage now and make sure you are adequately protected in the event of a loss.
With automobile insurance, clients need Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage in the event of a car accident. This is not a place to save money or opt out. PIP benefits provide no fault coverage in the amount of $8,000.00 total for medical bills and lost wages. This means regardless of who is at fault for the accident, PIP provides $8,000 in coverage per person for the driver and passengers in your vehicle for medical expenses and lost wages.
Even with health insurance, our clients still are responsible for costly copayments and uncovered medical expenses. Co-pays add up and may run thousands of dollars for clients seriously injured. These copays and non-reimbursed medical expenses place a heavy burden on clients and their families. The PIP coverage provides up to $8,000.00 in coverage to reimburse these copayments, patient responsibility charges and medical costs. We help our clients secure reimbursement when they have the PIP coverage. We are seeing far too many clients without this coverage for them to seek reimbursement, and the savings on insurance premium is very little when you consider the protection it provides.
Also, we have clients who are disabled from work due to injuries from a car accident. They often have inadequate sick time benefits or paid time off. The PIP will pay 75 percent of lost wages up to the $8,000.00 limit. Recently we had a client who was unable to work due to a disabling back injury caused by an auto accident, and we secured her the $8,000.00 in PIP benefits that helped ease her and her family’s financial burden while she was out of work. If she opted out of this coverage, she would have nothing.
Similarly, we see a lack of uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits. When you are in an accident caused by the negligent operation of the other vehicle, it is easy to assume the other driver’s insurance will cover your claim for compensation because the other driver was at fault. However, too often the negligent driver has minimal insurance. When this happens, we look to our client’s own motor vehicle insurance to determine underinsured benefits since the negligent driver is underinsured. Many of our clients are shocked to learn that they have no underinsurance coverage. This often means inadequate compensation for the client’s injuries. Again, the cost savings in minimizing this underinsurance coverage is small.
A reoccurring example of this underinsured/ uninsured coverage providing additional compensation to our clients is when the negligent driver has only $20,000.00 in bodily injury coverage and our clients have cases worth more than $20,000.00. Imagine suffering an injury such as a broken arm or leg and having surgery with hardware and scars due to another driver running a red light and finding out he only has $20,000.00 in coverage. The compensation is grossly inadequate to make you whole. If you have underinsured coverage in excess of $20,000.00 on your own policy, you would be in a position to pursue additional compensation through your own policy. For example, if you had $100,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage, the law would allow you to seek an additional $80,000.00 from your own insurer in addition to the $20,000.00 from the negligent operator’s insurance. You would be in a position to be compensated in the total amount of $100,000.00 with your own coverage versus only $20,000.00 if you do not have the coverage. Again, our clients typically don’t realize this until it is too late.
These are just two areas of your insurance policy that we are addressing as examples. Both the PIP coverage and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage are issues that keep resurfacing in our representation of clients. Some of our clients are fortunate and have the coverage to allow us to pursue the compensation they need and deserve. Other clients lack the coverage and had no idea what they gave up and how little they actually saved on the insurance premium.
Lesson Learned- Take a few minutes to review your insurance coverage to have peace of mind that you have adequate coverage for you and your family.
We would be happy to discuss any questions or concerns regarding this and lead you in the right direction to address your insurance coverage.
At Nadeau Harkavy LLC, we help victims and their families recover damages for their losses in serious injury and wrongful death cases arising from tragic accidents. If you have any questions about your legal rights relating to a motor vehicle accident, wrongful death or other accident, feel free to contact us for a free consult today at 617-674-7640.
By: Karen P. Nadeau
July 19, 2019
Too Many Drownings in Massachusetts This Summer
And Authorities Say It Is Totally Preventable
We are still in July and there have been at least 9 Massachusetts drownings this summer. There were drownings at Worcester’s Bell Pond, Millbury’s Dorothy Pond, Whiting’s Pond in North Attleboro, a pool in Lynn, Mayflower Beach on the Cape, Buckmaster Pond in Westwood, Breakheart reservation in Saugus and two drownings in the Chicopee River.
Summer heat means spending time at beaches, pools and lakes to cool off and enjoy the water. But there are dangers associated with water. I have this memory of a newspaper article fifteen plus years ago that my dad meticulously cut out for me about a child drowning in a bucket of water and how it only took a very small amount of water for a child to drown. My dad had an agenda. We grew up with an inground pool. My brother, sister and I learned to swim at an early age before the pool was installed. But now I had my first-born toddler who could not swim, and my dad was obsessed with him and the pool and what could happen. The article left on the kitchen table while he was at work was to shock me and scare me to be vigilant around the pool with his first grandson.
I did my own investigation about the possibility of drowning in a bucket of water and learned that this happens to many children every year according to the CDC. Children can fall head first into the bucket and not get out. So now imagine children near gigantic buckets of water- our lakes and ponds, and oceans and pools. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention Statistics, more than 3700 Americans drowned in 2017 and about 700 were under the age of 14. Ten people a day drown in the US according to the CDC. For every 1 drowning, 5 are rescued.
According to Massachusetts Government Injury and Prevention related to water safety, drowning is swift and silent. It often happens quietly with no frantic calls for help, no splashing or waves for assistance. Young children are at risk because they can slip away quickly and go in the water without understanding the danger. But drowning is preventable.
https://www.mass.gov/ provides tips for all ages to stay safe in and around water. They recommend knowing how to swim. If you can’t swim, keep to shallow areas or use a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. Swimming lessons are a great idea for young and old.
Some of the other tips include:
*swim with a buddy and never alone, even if you are a very good swimmer
*swim in designated areas with a lifeguard present
*do not dive or jump in water that is not at least 12 feet deep.
*do not swim during a storm
*don’t swim in an area with strong moving currents
*know where you are and keep a cell phone handy
*wear a life jacket in a boat that is US Coast Guard approved
As a parent or caretaker responsible for children’s safety, keep a close watch and remain attentive with children around water. As a homeowner, be sure to have safe practices near and around the pool. By using these tips when around water, these tragic drownings can stop happening.
The lawyers at Nadeau Harkavy LLC help victims and their families recover damages for their losses in serious injury and wrongful death cases arising from tragic accidents. If you have any questions about your legal rights relating to an accident, wrongful death or other accident, feel free to contact us for a free consult today at 617-674-7640.
By: Leslie S. Harkavy
Category: Motorcycle Accidents
Seven Motorcyclists fatally injured in Tragic Accident on Friday, June 21, 2019- Several Individuals or Entities May Be Responsible For This Heartbreaking Outcome
July 8, 2019
According to the Boston Globe, seven bikers were killed in Randolph, New Hampshire when a truck collided with them on Route 2. A 23 year old West Springfield resident is facing negligent homicide charges for his alleged role in the tragedy. He was operating a pickup truck towing a trailer when he allegedly crossed the double yellow line on a highway and collided with the group of motorcycle riders on route to a nearby veteran’s fundraiser.
The head of The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) resigned amid revelations that the truck driver accused of vehicular homicide was able to keep his commercial driver’s license despite a drunk driving arrest just the month before in May and history of other serious traffic violations. The RMV has a responsibility to enforce the laws governing the safe operation of vehicles. According to local news sources, the RMV had not acted on information provided by the Connecticut Department of motor vehicles regarding the May 11, 2019 incident. The driver allegedly has a long list of driving infractions going back to his teen years including a prior drunk driving arrest and prior roll over crash as well as failing a sobriety test in May 2019. The driver was an employee of a Massachusetts transportation company.
How did this driver still have a commercial driver’s license? How was this driver gainfully employed by a transportation company driving trucks on highways with this driving history?
This is a tragic story that could have been avoided. Seven lives lost leaving family and friends grieving and devastated. Why?
First, look at the driver, a 23 year old young man. If he crossed the double yellow line and struck these motorcyclists, he is no doubt responsible. But who else may be responsible? He should not have been behind the wheel of a truck and trailer given his driving history. The news points to the RMV for failing to do their job once notified about this incident that occurred the month before. He should never had possessed the commercial driver’s license that allowed him to be behind the wheel of the instrument that caused this tragedy. The RMV may have failed in their responsibility to have a system in place to keep this dangerous driver from operating a truck for work.
Who else may be responsible? No decent employer would have an unlicensed truck driver operate one of their trucks for business. We have not heard much about the employer in this incident. But what did the employer know about this driver’s history? Did the employer know about the prior roll over? The prior drunk driving charges? What did the employer do when deciding to hire this individual? Did the employer do a background check? Check references? Request the driving record of this individual? Run a CORI check for the criminal history of this employee?
These are some of the questions we ask when investigating the persons or businesses that may be held responsible for our client’s injuries. An employer cannot blindly hire an employee. An employer like a trucking company has a duty and responsibility to take reasonable steps to determine that the employee is a good hire and not a danger to the public. The employer also has a responsibility to train their employees and have safety measures in place to avoid foreseeable risks of harm. Many of these questions will be investigated and answered in this case to determine the individuals or entities responsible in this tragic case.
Ultimately, there may have been three chances here to avoid this tragic headline. All three individuals or entities- the driver, the RMV, the employer - had a duty, a responsibility, to exercise reasonable care to protect the public from harm. It may be that if just one of the three fulfilled their obligation to avoid foreseeable risk of harm and did the right thing according to the law, this tragedy may have been avoided.
The lawyers at Nadeau Harkavy LLC help motorcycle victims and their families recover damages for their losses in serious injury and wrongful death cases arising from motor vehicle accidents.
If you have any questions about your legal rights relating to a motorcycle accident, wrongful death or other accident, feel free to contact Nadeau Harkavy LLC for a free consult today at 617-674-7640.
By: Karen Nadeau
Category: Beach Safety
Be Aware of Flying Objects On Beaches in Massachusetts!
June 25, 2019
No, not UFO’S or asteroids or other things beyond human control.
I am talking about objects seen and used in our daily lives that with proper use make our lives better. But when these objects are not properly used or secured, devastating injuries can occur.
We have all seen at the Massachusetts beaches on a warm summer day- the flying umbrella. The umbrellas provide the much needed coverage from the harmful effects of the sun. My family used them often when our children were young. It was a production to really secure that umbrella in the sand to prevent it from rising up and flying in the wind across the beach. I did not want to be that family chasing the flying umbrella. I remember seeing a beach worker in Gloucester with some magical gadget that actually dug the hole for their umbrellas he was renting. I wanted one.
So, today, the news shows a video of a little toddler with a frisbee simply running in circles full of energy enjoying the freedom of a sandy beach when out of no where a beach umbrella goes flying by, with a near miss. Too close. It was the difference between a dreamy family beach day continuing or the beginning of a tragic journey where a little boy’s or girl’s life forever changed. Today this little boy or girl and his family were lucky that the flying umbrella did not strike him. They happily continued their day at the beach as if nothing happened.
Lesson Learned- Secure your umbrellas at the beach. Take the little bit of extra time to do it right. As parents, be vigilant of the umbrellas around you and your children. This will lead to less flying objects at the beach, less close calls, and more fun in and out of the sun at the beach.
In my personal injury firm Nadeau Harkavy LLC, we represent children and their families whose lives were forever changed by tragic avoidable circumstances. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident, call us at 617-674-7640 for a free consultation. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases.
By: Leslie Harkavy
Category: Highway Safety in Massachusetts.
Flying Objects On Highways
June 11, 2019
How many times have you driven on a highway in Massachusetts, with a truck next to you carrying a load of goods? We assume everything is safely secured and all potential flying objects are carefully and correctly placed and secured to avoid anything coming loose and flying at full speed. Recently, while driving on Route 93 in Wilmington, Massachusetts, a huge chunk of lumber came flying through a windshield. Somehow the driver escaped serious injury. This chunk of wood on Route 93 in Wilmington, Massachusetts perhaps being transported by a truck to a job site was clearly not secured. It became a deadly weapon flying on the highway. This individual was lucky. He took some action to avoid serious personal injury as he drove with the object coming at him and avoided a tragic ending. The truck owner and operator and business involved with transporting this chunk of wood and protecting it from flying off its truck on a highway may be held responsible had this terrible accident not been avoided.
Myself and my partner Karen Nadeau, of Nadeau Harkavy LLC, have seen too many cases of flying debris that resulted in awful injuries to our clients including terrible scars and brain injury. We see the individuals and families that unfortunately did not escape the flying object and invest our time and commitment to trying to help them rebuild their lives. If you or a family member have been injured in an accident, call us at 617-674-7640 for a free consult. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases.
Lesson Learned- Individuals and businesses transporting goods must exercise reasonable care in securing their objects to prevent serious personal injury to others. They have a duty and obligation to the public to protect the public from foreseeable risks of harm. They may be held responsible for their negligence in creating a risk of flying objects that they transport.